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Tools to Take You into 2021: A Coaches’ Corner Recap

Recently, Petra Coach hosted a Coaches’ Corner – a session of live Q&A – with Certified Petra Coaches and Accountability Coaches Marshall Martin, David Pierce and Mandy Burage.

You can find the full recording here.

To augment the recording, below is a brief recap of questions and answers from the session.

Top Takeaways

We are now into November and it’s never too early to thing about the end of the year. And what better way than through the lens of Rockefeller Habits and the 4 Disciplines? What are the things we can start thinking about to finish up 2020?

 

People

Think about 2021, but also think about the remaining 55 days in 2020 – what do you need to do in those last days to reach your personal goals, team goals and make sure the focus is still on today so you’re ready to go in Q1?

Look back over the year and find the learnings. What worked? What didn’t? Make sure you don’t do the same things next year. Deep dive into the areas where you can grow and find the reasons behind them. Set annual goals for your people. What needed to get done this year that didn’t? What can you ditch? This year is especially unique when you think about what was or was not successful.

Most of us are remote and we need to find those ways to reconnect with our people and how do we take care of ourselves first.

The One Page Personal Plan (OPPP) is more power this year than ever before.

What is it? A tool for creating the life that you want instead of just letting life happen. We spend lots of time planning our businesses but not enough on our personal lives. The OPPP allows us to look to our futures and envision what we want them to look like. If you can see it in your mind, you can start putting plans in place to get there.

Be sure to build mental health relief into 2021 on your OPPP – your own and your team’s – especially if we shut down again in winter. Taking care of yourself, taking trips and finding downtime are important. “Are you going to collect stuff or are you going to collect stories?”

It can be a weekend away or a trip to another country – it needs to be a priority to create those stories with your loved ones to add value to your life. Check the balances on your Wheel of Life.

When looking at your OPPP, break your goals down from something general into very specific action items with Starts and Stops to keep it relevant and to be intentional with it on a day-to-day basis.

Look back on the year and celebrate wins. If you’re going to do some kind of bonus or reward, make it a big deal. Frequency of feedback and reward throughout the year can be a lot more impactful than waiting for the end of the year to see how you’ve done. It keeps your team more engaged.

 

Strategy

Not everyone in 2020 has been forced to change their strategy, but everyone has been forced to reevaluate it. What are the keys to getting it right in 2021?

Review your 3-5 Year Goals. A lot of those longer-term goals don’t change – the entire direction of the company is still on track for where you want to be X years down the road.

When January comes, you want to have your strategy set so you have the entire year to work on it, so set those 2021 plans in Nov/Dec. 2020

Pandemic has taught us that the worst case can happen. We never gave it consideration, but we have to do that now. We should do Scenario Analysis on a longer time frame than just 1 year, because when these things hit, it takes time to fix. We can put mitigating factors in place that we wouldn’t have thought of before.

Strategy is one thing we encourage planning of regularly – don’t wait until the end of a year or quarter. Make it a muscle you have to exercise. It requires discipline and rigor.

Because there was such a disruption this year, Petra had the mentality of, “if we’re going to change, let’s go ahead and change big.” We get used to setting modest goals we know we can reach, but this time we were forced to pivot out of our comfort zone, so we took advantage of that position and went 200%. Hopefully it changed mindsets to thinking bigger all the time.

When things are going well, don’t get complacent – figure out why it’s going well. Is it actually because of something you’re doing or because of outside circumstances? What are you measuring against? Lean into the things you are doing well.

 

Execution

The end of the year is a great time to look at execution. Even if it’s going well, don’t get complacent. How can we do it better? Faster? More efficiently?

What can I finish up this year? What’s the big goal for next year and what are the steps to drive success there?

Finish strong to create momentum into 2021. If you slow everything down at year end, it’s going to take a while to ramp it up again.

Move fast. Don’t wait for perfection – get it to 70% and pull the trigger. Make decisions (and mistakes) to create momentum going forward. Have a big end-of-year goal with a “carrot” at the end to keep that momentum running in your team through those last few holiday months and drive a strong finish. Make a Theme out of it.

Look at your Critical Numbers. How we get those incremental gains? Clean up your processes. Rank them in importance for when you have time to work on them. Inefficiencies can be hidden in a “successful year” – still go back and evaluate.

 

Cash

Get control of your funding. The best way to fund growth is internal – outside sources won’t always be there when you need them, like in a recession. How can I maximize my internal funding sources? How can we generate the most cash flow? You’ve got a lot of info to do analytics on and see how you can improve and become more efficient.

It’s also a good time to make small changes in pricing. “This is my new 2021 price.” Most customers are price insensitive if you’re meeting their needs and they value you. As your costs go up, you should be able to modestly go up in price without losing business. Dramatic increases may be ill-received, incremental is better accepted.

If you get pushback, ask two questions:

  1. Do you not see the value?
  2. Or do you wonder how you’re going to pay for it?

If you’re not doing your best work or cannot prove your value, don’t increase your prices.

Go back to your key vendors and talk about pricing. They often having things we aren’t taking advantage of – doesn’t hurt to ask. Look for opportunities to gain efficiencies.

Year end is time to make sure you understand all your covenants. Weigh those in as you’re building your strategy. The worst time to ask for money is when you need it, so with the foreshadowing of the economy, you may want to draw on some resources and get some liquidity.

 

Knowing what you know this year, what the best advice you can give people to plan for 2021?

Shoot for the stars. Whatever goals you’ve set for yourself or your team, are you thinking too small? Take advantage of the extra time and focus. Think BIG. Look at 2021 as your year to go for it.

Have a mindset of CAN. It flips a switch when you have a positive mindset.

Recommit to living your purpose – personally and as a company. Results will come if you truly live that purpose.

Stay positive. Control what you can. Block out the noise. Whatever you do, you have to take care of yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, you’re not going to be there to take care of others.

 

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